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The Guru - Brand Archetypes Skip to content

The Guru Archetype

The Big Idea: The truth will set you free!

What Does it Mean to Be a Guru (Sage) Brand?

The GURU is also known as; the sage, the teacher, the scholar, the expert, the detective

The Guru uses the gifts of wisdom and intelligence to distinguish truth from illusion. The Guru helps its customers make smarter decisions. Gurus seek information through study, due diligence, objectivity, analysis, and self-reflection. There is a lot of trust involved in being the Guru. This trust is based on your perceived knowledge and experience. People feel smarter by being around you and they feel that you help them make sense of the world.

Does your organization promote continuous learning? Do your employees have a high need for autonomy? Do your colleagues work at their own pace and come and go as they please? Does your organization emphasize development of expertise and have a decentralized structure? Compared to your competitors, do your employees have a lot of knowledge and experience?


Several archetypes can be broken into 2 or more sub-archetypes.  The Guru is one of those. The Sub-Archetypes are:

The Teacher Archetype

The Teacher

Focuses on imparting knowledge and information.

The Guru Archetype

The Guru

Imbued with wisdom and experience that others may draw upon.


Is Your Business a Guru?

  • Does your business provide expertise/information to your customers?
  • Does your business encourage customers and clients to think?
  • Is your brand based on a new scientific breakthrough or revolutionary idea?
  • Are your products/services differentiated from competitors whose quality or performance is questionable?
  • Do you instill trust and confidence in your customers based on your experience?
  • Do you have a product or service that depends on: data, information, methodical processes?
If you said "yes" to any (or a lot) of the above, you just may be a Guru!


Knowledge and Know-How

Guru brands make their customers feel wise, intelligent, informed and in the know. They back up their knowledge with facts and figures, and they do the research. They create trust with their employees and clients because they prove what they know. They've got the chops to deliver on the goods.


Even Adult Geeks Can Get Bullied

Gurus might often lack social graces, especially if they are really passionate about their ideas. Gurus really hate being outsmarted, proven wrong, tricked, or lied to. They can come across as a “know it all.”  In marketing especially, often times emotions will trump knowledge and data.  It would be a mistake to discount or ignore this fact altogether.


It's ALL About Trust

The Guru always has the opportunity to share their knowledge and help people become smarter and more informed. The more research, stats, information and explanations you can provide the more trustworthy and reliable you become. You are the “go to” source for information in your industry. You truly are an industry expert.



You fear not being the smartest person in the room, losing trust, being outsmarted, duped, or lied to.  You MUST have a strong moral compass so as not to be lured by tactics that might degrade your trustworthiness.

Examples of Great Guru Brands

Watch Some Great Guru/Sage Ads...